Going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was completely by chance and one of the small events in my life that had a lasting impact. It was my first taste of a world outside of my own comfort zone. That year, I was working as a front desk agent at a fancy hotel next to the San Francisco piers. My friend and I went to the annual Christmas party, and somehow miraculously won a voucher for two nights to the Monterey Bay Inn.
The aquarium opened in 1984, becoming widely known for its conservation efforts and the preservation of the Monterey Bay marine environment. Its first exhibit to ever be displayed was the kelp forest depicted in the picture below.
I have oddly always been obsessed with jellyfish. As a child, I thought they were made out of gelatin because of how they swim. Child me thought they were special because they seemed like the least solid marine animal that has ever graced the ocean with its presence. I stared at the jellyfish display completely enamored with joy at seeing my favorite marine animal up close.
I had always wanted to go to this particular aquarium because of how renowned it is. My friend that was at the Christmas party joined me on the trip, and together we walked along the aquarium, staring at displays and feeling like kids again. It was a getaway we both needed to have. A chance to experience something extraordinary.
The most important lesson this trip taught me is that having little adventures when you can makes life that much sweeter. I learned that traveling continually, even if it is only in your backyard, can be the most theraputic and fun experience.